Shady Spring, West Virginia

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Beautiful pastures follow the left fork of Beaver Creek at Shady Spring in the Mountain State's southern uplands.

Shady Spring, WV (West Virginia), is an unincorporated community in Raleigh County named for a spring that bubbled beneath the shade of a large tree there. It is also sometimes designated "Shady Springs." Its population in 2010 was 2,998.

The community is chiefly residential and is renowned for its climate and access to outdoor recreation. The approaches within three miles to the northeast, and is a drive of about 10 minutes to the south.

Shady Spring High School is a top-ranked Raleigh County school.

The gated resort community, which includes three championship golf courses, is located in and adjacent to Shady Spring. Little Beaver State Park, a 562-acre public preserve renowned for its hiking and biking, is located just outside the community.

Shady Spring also lends its name to the surrounding magisterial district, which includes the communities of Grandview, Cool Ridge, White Oak, Daniels, Beaver, and Ghent. , a gated residential community is located in the southern district near Winterplace Ski Resort.


Located along a natural passage through the Appalachian Mountains, the spring and community figured importantly in regional history. Long before European settlement, a Native American trail led through the area and likely visited the spring. It's possible that saw the spring during her capture by the Shawnee in 1755.

Marker on US-19 notes the site of the Shady Spring.

After 1785, when the last native groups relinquished their claim to western Virginia, the area began to be settled by Europeans. An inn and tavern were developed nearby by the Hull Brothers in 1832, and soon after the Virginia Assembly provided for the organization of two primitive turnpikes, wagon roads that were to converge at the spring—the  and the Raleigh, Wythe, and Grayson Turnpike.

visited the area during the Civil War and described the spring as remarkably large. "The water gushes out copiously, runs on the surface a few rods, and runs again into the earth,” he said.

In "A History of Shady Spring District," compiled and published by the Shady Spring District Woman’s Club, 1979, the following description appears:

"The ‘Shady Spring’ was an enduring landmark, never known to ‘run dry,’ it served as a focal point for the community, especially for the women, many of whom would come bearing washtubs and other paraphernalia required to do the family laundry. So they saved the effort of carrying water to their homes and visited with neighbors at the same time. Residents recall that the spring’s water was pure and sweet until it fell into disuse with the advent of more convenient arrangements and finally, with the construction of Route 3 in the '30s, it became clogged with debris.” The spring still bubbles forth in a glade near the junction of US-19 and WV-3.

In the early 1900s, the two roads were improved as highways US-19 and WV-3, and the area began to develop as a residential outlier of the City of Beckley. Prized for its rurality and climate, "Shady," as the area is colloquially known, became a focus for vacation home development. The Flat Top Lake vacation community was established nearby in 1950, and the resort community at Glade Springs opened in 1973.



The region's upland climate is notable for its cool summer nights and moderate winters that benefit from intermittent heavy snows. The growing season typically lasts six months, from around late April until around late-to-mid-October. The autumn leaf change is especially brilliant and extends from September into December. The warm season lasts May through September, during which daily high temperatures average 71 degrees. The cold season lasts from December through February, during which temperatures reach an average low of 24 degrees and an average high of 39.

Lodging near Shady Spring, West Virginia

Shady Spring is notably the home of Glade Springs Resort, home of three championship golf courses. A growing number of cabins and bed-and-breakfasts are opening in the area.

Parks & Public Recreation

Shady Spring is within a 30-minute drive of many parks and recreation areas, including the .


Shady Spring is located at the junction of highways US-19 and WV-3 approximately seven miles north of the I-77 expressway at Ghent, West Virginia, 15 miies west of Hinton, West Virginia, and seven miles south of the I-64 expressway at Beckley, West Virginia.

Map of Shady Spring, West Virginia

Regional Information

Shady Spring is located in the New River Gorge Region in southern West Virginia.